I got into an email conversation this week that went something like this.
“I’m a teacher and I want to be a school librarian. What classes do I need?”
“It’s a 37-credit hour program; you’ll earn your MLIS and NYS certification.”
“No, no, no, I’m already a teacher. I shouldn’t have to take that many classes.”
A few days later, I got into a conversation while in the learning commons about the idea of a learning commons.
“Oh, are you a student here?”
“Yes, I’m in the Master’s of Library and Information Science program here at SU.”
“Oh, so you can explain to me why it’s not quiet in here?”
“Ah, yes, I can. It’s a learning commons. Conversation is encouraged, collaboration among students, and you’re surrounded by great resources to use as well!”
“Hmph. I don’t see anyone studying or using resources. I just hear noise.”
“Well, the other five floors of Bird Library, as far as I know, are quiet floors, if that’s what you want…”
shocking: she didn’t move from her place on the “loud” floor.
And this got me thinking. We know what the ideas and concepts and theories behind “new librarianship” are. But to look at us… you wouldn’t necessarily think “new librarian!” (well, at least in the “not-using-old-standards” way. you might think “new to the field”.) So… I decided to do a very high-tech, super-resourceful Google Image search.
This is what the general populace thinks of when they think “librarian”.
I tried Google-Image searching cool librarian, awesome librarian, hip librarian, badass librarian… and the results were less than impressive. I did find these gems, though:
So…apparently it’s hip/awesome/cool to be…old-fashioned. Huh. Go figure.
All this to say…
WE are the face of librarianship. And as time progresses, we will be what people think of – we’ll be the new results on a google image search page (dear goodness, I hope so, anyway. Enough stereotypical clipart already.) So… what will be the mental image of a librarianship once we’ve successfully integrated all our fantastical plans and innovative (drink!) ideas? Just something to consider…
And as a closing – to be totally stereotypical librarian – this pictures makes me think one thing: WANT.